When, like me, you often find yourself having to explain the core concepts of information and records management to people, especially those who aren’t IRM professionals, you know how quickly they can lose interest – approximately 0.00001 seconds after you first use the word metadata. It’s a pretty dry subject which can get technically complex very quickly; not an easy sell.
Information, and in that I’m including official records, data, social media and anything else you can think of, is generally understood to be a vital asset to business. We spend our days creating and using little objects of digital content (occasionally we still use paper) yet information and records managers often seem at a loss as to why no-one understands what managing it all is about. A hint here, if you’re leaving everything in your email inbox you’re probably getting it very, very wrong.
If the content you need isn’t there or isn’t in a form you can use then everything stops. What information and records managers do is prevent that from happening; hopefully working in close collaboration with their IT, security, and information assurance colleagues amongst others. But that doesn’t begin to describe the breadth of functions and activities information management professionals undertake to keep the information flow flowing.